Spiritual Housecleaning

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Spiritual Housecleaning

Kabbalah Centre
September 16, 2014
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Ah, autumn. Students return to the academic grind with brand new notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils. The leaves begin to change their color, signaling the shift in seasons. It is fitting that Rosh Hashanah falls around this time. The New Year is a time to let go of bad habits, reassess our behavior, and clean up our thoughts in preparation for the blessings reserved for us in the months ahead. Think of it as a spiritual house cleaning, a time to shake out the rugs and get things in order.

Yet, this can be a massive job, especially if you’ve been skipping the corners all year long! So how do we go about removing the spiritual grime and junk that has accumulated over the course of a year? It takes being honest with ourselves and examining all areas of our behavior and our thoughts. A spiritual house cleaning isn’t simply about changing how we do things; it goes deeper than that (think squeaky clean). We also need to change how we view others and remove the most negative aspects of ourselves.

Start by putting a stop to your judgment of others. This is no small job. Judgment creates negative energy that clutters our soul, making it more difficult for the Light to shine in. It prevents us from seeing the goodness in others. By cleaning up our thoughts, we are clearing the way for the Creator to enter our lives. As a result, we begin to see others for who they really are and our relationships improve. Over time, we are able to offer love instead of criticism.

We judge because we are human. Jealousy, ego, and reactive behavior lead us to pass judgment on others. It is a trap we step into so we can feel better about ourselves. But this only gives us a false sense of satisfaction. It’s time to take a closer look at this tendency and make a conscious effort to stop criticizing others. When those thoughts arise, notice them and then choose to recognize the good in that person. For each judgment, make a mental note of their strengths. With consistency, you can make this a pattern that eventually overrules your old habit, preventing negative thoughts from taking root and taking over.

And consider the best part, “If we’re skipping over the negativity of others,” says Michael Berg, “the Creator will return the favor.” This lesson is paramount to our preparation for the New Year. “Although it is important not to judge others, it is just as important to understand why…the most important reason of all, as we approach Rosh Hashanah, is our awareness that as we act, so acts the Creator.”

Releasing judgment also allows us to open up so we can be a positive influence in the lives of others. When we stop judging people we can better see what their actions offer us—a chance to help someone and bring Light into his or her life. Helping someone who is doing something negative is another way to cleanse yourself spiritually and prepare for Rosh Hashanah.

With the right state of mind we can take right action and more effectively clear out negativity (for everyone involved). Remember, we’re all in this together, working towards the same goal. Try to use gentle words and approach someone in the same nonjudgmental way you would appreciate if the roles were reversed. Be compassionate; if one of us falls short of the goal, we all fall short. When you help steer someone away from a negative path, you bring more Light into the world and open the window for more blessings to enter your life in the New Year.

If you can’t help, start by simply committing yourself to feeling love, not judgment, for others. One of the most fundamental precepts of Kabbalah is, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” By caring for the welfare of others with the same attention we give to ourselves, our thoughts collectively become stronger and more powerful, clearing the path for a more positive and Light-filled New Year.